Beat People With a Stick! - A (Helpful!) Book Review

Get Better, In Sweet Little Bites

Beat People With a Stick! - A great pool book
Beat People With a Stick! - A great pool book. Illustration courtesy of Tom Simpson

Get Strong, With Matt's Eight-Ball And Nine-Ball Strategies


If you're going to beat people with a stick, you will certainly want to read this exciting lessons book. It comes with my highest possible recommendation. -- Matt Sherman

Get Ready To Get Set!

Have you been bored by a pool book or DVD? Are you ready to be challenged and to learn, even if you have just a few spare minutes here and there? Master Instructor Tom Simpson’s new workbook is just the pick-me-up you need.

Simpson is a teacher I trust when I have questions about my own teaching, my own game.

When we need pool lessons, we want them from a true expert. Simpson is well-known in the world of pool instruction as a thorough, careful writer and lecturer, who is also an innovator of great billiards training products. I've just had the pleasure of reading his Beat People With a Stick!  - 129 One-Page Pool Lessons, and I know you’ll enjoy it, too.

Full disclosure here--Tom Simpson offers technical advice to the many contributors at Inside Pool Magazine. As a contributor there for years, I've had tons of fun sending Tom some of my crazier pool ideas and theories, as well as some great pro tidbits. I know, and firsthand, he would never allow in print something he hasn't play-tested, and proven as truth. He's so thorough, I'd send my own children his way to learn this game right.

Bonus: Free Game Help For You From Tom Simpson

Action On Each Page

There are great tips in 129 One-Page Pool Lessons on every page, even for someone like me, who thinks he knows everything about pool. Simpson’s thoroughgoing thinking solves many problems you are having now in the game.

Jumping and breaking? It’s here? The mental game? Defense and offense?

Solid advice on stroke, aim, stance? It’s all here. Just enough detail and just enough good humor to keep the reader engaged. You can read several lessons at a sitting or use Beat People With a Stick! like a diary or journal of advice, to take one new lesson to the poolroom with you each session.

Very Cool Pool Products From Tom Simpson

Get Into Your Game, Player

The 129 One-Page Pool Lessons are taken from among the best of the past 15 years of teaching by Tom Simpson. Each lesson is a gem of an article, carefully written, edited and play-tested by this master teacher.

Personally, I keep a list of teachers nationwide and overseas for me to refer players to, for when I cannot make a lesson in person. It’s a small list! To be frank, there are teachers out there not worth the cost, but Tom Simpson’s name is near the top of my list as a good resource. I know the very thorough nature of his teaching and practice. As I've mentioned, he will not put a shot or technique in print he hasn’t play-tested rigorously, first.

Simpson’s book is crammed full of helpful advice for you, because it’s real, filling what I call the GAP in much other pool teaching, in Geometry, Anatomy and Physics. Let me give you an example, below.

Tom Simpson's Three-Day Pool School, Featuring Secret Aim Techniques Of The Greats

Spin It To Win It

“Getting a Little On the Side” is Simpson’s cheeky title for his lesson on how to use sidespin better with the cue ball. As I’ve explained in lessons for a long time, Simpson correctly parses the forward force of the cue ball with its possible rotational force to explain how, say, the forward thrust you put on the cue ball hitting it hard counteracts the beautiful spin you need for english, to greatly affect play.

Softer strokes, of course, equal “more” english, actually, less interference from forward force, and therefore, great results on the cue ball. Zip! Zoom! You will start to send the cue ball wherever you like at will, and with less effort than before, by following Simpson's sage advice.

Matt's GAP Teaching And Your Hand Bridge

Squirt, swerve, spin-induced throw, rotational and forward force, all on one page, in one easy-to-digest lesson, as above. That’s just one of the 129 helpful articles in Simpson’s book. In many places while reading this book, I said to myself, "Yes! Now, if only all pool players knew that, everyone would be better--and then I can have better opponents in match play!"

Go for it. Some other of the many superb articles inside include:

  • Recording your misses to learn
  • Using the butt of your cue to test aim through the cue tip
  • 7 places to adjust your stance
  • Dealing with the stress of competition
  • Shots just-off straight, canning them with style
  • Stroking through, versus poking at, the cue ball
  • Dart and pendulum jump stroke techniques, with step-by-step photos
  • Solving the “what is a tip of english” problem (featuring a smart illustration, which I’ve kept close by my pool notes for years)
  • Dance your stance!
  • 10 arenas that “matter” to become a better player
  • How to break smarter!
  • A gorgeous force shot that will send the cue ball across and around the table, incredibly, off a dead-straight shot
  • Much more!

As you can see above, the lessons focus on all aspects of the game, mental and physical, and remind us of the sheer enjoyment, the joy of pool, the greatest table sport yet invented. I took great notes reading (savoring) this book, and I know you will as well.

I mean, just take a look at that cover illustration! You see that Flintstones club Tom Simpson is holding?

That thing can smash an entire nine-foot table with two hits, let alone get you some trophies!

Seriously, dip into 129 Lessons with Tom Simpson. Your game will stand up and say, "Thanks a lot, friend!"

Beat People With a Stick!  - 129 One-Page Pool Lessons

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Your Citation
Sherman, Matthew. "Beat People With a Stick! - A (Helpful!) Book Review." ThoughtCo, Apr. 26, 2016, Sherman, Matthew. (2016, April 26). Beat People With a Stick! - A (Helpful!) Book Review. Retrieved from Sherman, Matthew. "Beat People With a Stick! - A (Helpful!) Book Review." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 24, 2017).